Look at this small collection of books. What was I thinking? Where was (or is) my mind at?
None of these three books were what I had in cue to read this past March. One book simply inspired the next and now, when I consider what I learned from each of them, it all makes sense.
In March we break. In preparation for that break I packed two books in my carry-on in anticipation for a nice long stretch of reading time. In the hour leading up to our departure, while perusing the isles in the airport convenience store, I found a book. I had picked up a few books along the way but put them all down when my eyes fell on the cover of this book, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad. The title screamed to me. I had to read it.
After having devoured that book I found myself again looking at the literary offerings in the hotel gift shop. There I found The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I had seen the book many times before on display at Chapter’s but I only ever glazed over it and skipped it. Well on that fateful afternoon I decided to give it a chance (the cover was cute).
That book led me to race to Chapter’s upon my return to add Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes to my library. This book put an entirely new spin on dieting; a perspective I had not yet considered.
The titles alone of these three books say a great deal about what ails my heart and mind. It seems that no matter with what coloured brush I choose to paint it, my deeply rooted belief that my happiness will emerge when I have conquered my fat is always dark and looming in my heart and mind.
Awad’s book, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl hurt to read but I couldn’t put it down. It is so raw and uninhibited. This story, about a young girl’s struggles to be thin takes us on a journey of her perception of herself as she believes she is seen through the eyes of those in her life – her best friend, her mother, her on-line boyfriends, her husband and rivals and her own reflection. Her internal torment was so painful but the sarcasm was dark and hilarious. In the end the realization for me was that she never saw what she had, only what she struggled to attain. Yes she was overweight but she was loved by all except herself. Once she conquered her fat and was thin and svelte, she was alone. The book takes us through Lizzie’s journey of her own perception of her Self at different times in her life, struggling with her view of how a ‘fat girl’ defines her happiness, or lack thereof and validates her own worth. “Will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl?” I’m saddened to say I resonated with a chapter or two.
Rubin’s The Happiness Project proved to offer some very practical tips on exactly that – changing your perspective. Her format was very methodical which at times I didn’t mind. One take-away for me was the visit to her website where I learned of Gary Taubes’ book on a diet I had not yet tried (who knew!!). Needless to say, I had to have that book.
Taubes’ book Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It forced me to seriously consider a version of the Dr. Atkins Diet in combination with the trending JERF Diet (Just Eat Real Food) and the No Sugar Diet. Never before has a book overflowing with research studies and scientific experiments made it to my Favourite pile. But there it lies. I am almost tempted to read it again!!
When my doctor shared with me that she too had read the book and fully supports a Ketogenic Diet, I was all in.
So now, having (loosely) put my own happiness project in place, I am down 3-4lbs (it has been about 10 days now) by following a keto-diet. What strikes me even more is that I think of Lizzie often and because of that I made a conscious decision to appreciate me and where I am right now (sounds easy but it’s not).
I know, I need to read a book that does not live on the Diet or Self-Help shelves. Any suggestions?